Thursday, July 16, 2015


CIA files will one day be cracked, it's murderers past and present publicly identified and those still alive held accountable for the heinous crimes they have committed over the decades  

By Andrew Kreig

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon last week authorized an intensified probe of the suspicious 1961 airplane crash that killed his peace-keeping predecessor Dag Hammarskjold.

Ban Ki-Moon
The UN's leader moved forward after preliminary inquiries raised additional questions over whether Western powers colluded to kill the Swedish diplomat, who had been working with emerging former colonies in Africa and elsewhere.

The initiative by Ban comes after claims of Belgian and U.S. complicity in the plane crash over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), which authorities announced at the time as an accident.

Ban, regarded as highly supportive of U.S. policies in general, nonetheless advanced this inquiry. 

He said in a statement that a new investigation would "finally establish the facts."

Hammarskjold died while engaged in diplomatic efforts regarding the former Belgian colony of the Congo. 

Dag Hannarskjold
The secretary-general planned to see Moise Tsombe, a pro-West leader of the province of Katanga that had broken-away from the central government led by the Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.

The CIA has acknowledged complicity in Lumumba's kidnapping, torture, and assassination along with two aides. Katangan forces that seized them after just 12 weeks of his leadership. News coverage of the UN investigation of Hammarskjold's death, including of last week's announcement, has varied widely according to the editorial perspective of the outlet.

CNN's story by Richard Roth, for example, buried suspicions of U.S. complicity in the bottom of its report, U.N. urges new look at 1961 plane crash that killed secretary-general .

Independent researchers experienced in studying 1960s assassinations promptly recognized the importance of Ban's decision last week. The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), for example, is posting on its website previous reporting by researcher Lisa Pease, some of which is excerpted here in her 2013 column for Consortium News, The Mysterious Death of a UN Hero, and below.

Another of her columns was published in 1999 by Probe Magazine, Midnight in the Congo: The Assassination of Lumumba and the Mysterious Death of Dag Hammarskjold.

She was one of three Americans to testify in a previous UN inquiry. For her Probe magazine column, she wrote:

The CIA has long since acknowledged responsibility for plotting the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the popular and charismatic leader of the Congo. But documents have recently surfaced that indicate the CIA may well have been involved in the death of another leader as well, U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold. Hammarskjold died in a plane crash en route to meet Moise Tshombe, leader of the breakaway (and mineral-rich) province of Katanga.

The first prime minister of independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba, arrested and then murdered on Jan. 17, 1961

At the time of his death, there was a great deal of speculation that Hammarskjold had been assassinated to prevent the U.N. from bringing Katanga back under the rule of the central government in the Congo. Fingers were pointed at Tshombe’s mercenaries, the Belgians, and even the British. Hardly anyone at the time considered an American hand in those events.

However, two completely different sets of documents point the finger of culpability at the CIA.

The CIA has denied having anything to do with the murder of Hammarskjold.

CNN's report by Roth said Ban, a long time admirer of Hammarskjold, said an investigation should be done after a special panel he appointed found Hammarskjold could have been targeted by air, or some other form of attack. The panel found new information, which was assessed as having "moderate probative value" -- enough to further pursue aerial attack or other interference as a hypothesis of the possible cause of the crash. It continued:

The three-member panel interviewed new witnesses who claimed they had seen two planes in the sky that night, one of which caught fire before crashing. The report also says the local government in the region included foreign troops that may have had "air capability." The report did rule out sabotage or hijacking as potential causes of the crash. It said new evidence was found to look at crew fatigue as a possible contributing factor.

The wreckage of Dag Hammarskjöld's plane near Ndola, now Zambia. Eyewitnesses claim they saw a second plane fire at the UN chief's plane

To further deepen the mystery, any new investigation would include testimony from former U.S. national security intelligence officers. Two of them talked with the U.N. panel and said they had listened or read radio intercepts that suggested the secretary-general's plane was attacked. The report also states that the leader's cryptography machine had been designed to allow select intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, to listen.

Harry Truman
Roth also included a chilling historical allusion from former President Harry Truman.

Truman created the CIA in 1947 but later became a critic of the agency's expanding activities globally as an operational entity with reduced oversight by the White House.

"Former U.S. President Harry Truman," Roth reported last week in history about the Hammarskjold death, "stoked fears when he told reporters just two days after the crash, "Dag Hammarskjold was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice I said, 'When they killed him.'"

Justice Integrity Project research has found similar views by Truman elsewhere. The former president, for example, wrote a syndicated column that appeared in the Washington Post on Dec. 22, 1963, exactly 30 days after President John F. Kennedy's death.

Rear Admiral Sidney Souers
The column, "Limit CIA Role To Intelligence," called for curtailment of CIA powers. His first Central Intelligence director, Navy Rear Admiral Sidney Souers wrote Truman to congratulate him on the column, according to correspondence available at the Truman Library in Independence, MO.

The next year, Truman reacted to a positive feature in Look Magazine about the CIA's global reach by writing Editor William B. Arthur privately to say in a letter dated June 10, "The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the President. It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities."

Historians have since uncovered many such activities by the CIA and its even more secret major counterpart, the National Security Agency.

With the UN now ramping up its probe of the 1961 plane crash, it remains to be seen if there is more to learn about how the World War II FDR-Truman-era fight against fascism morphed into strange new directions.

Andrew Kreig

Andrew Kreig, Esq.
Andrew Kreig is Justice Integrity Project Executive Director and co-founder with over two decades experience as an attorney and non-profit executive in Washington, DC.

An author and longtime investigative reporter, his primary focus since 2008 has been exploring allegations of official corruption and other misconduct in federal agencies. He has been a consultant and volunteer leader in advising several non-profit groups fostering cutting-edge applications within the communications industries.
As president and CEO of the Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) from 1996 until 2008, Kreig led its worldwide advocacy that helped create the broadband wireless industry. Previously, he was WCAI vice president and general counsel, an associate at Latham & Watkins, law clerk to a federal judge, author of the book Spiked about the newspaper business and a longtime reporter for the Hartford Courant.

Listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World from the mid-1990s and currently, he holds law degrees from the University of Chicago School of Law and from Yale Law School. Reared in New York City, his undergraduate degree in history is from Cornell University, where he was a student newspaper editor, rowing team member, and Golden Gloves boxer. 



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